A tense situation prevailed in Kinniya in Trincomalee when a large number of civilians surrounded and attempted to overrun the Kinniya Navy detachment claiming that a ‘Grease Devil’, was and is hiding inside the camp. Police arrested 24 suspects following the clash.
However Navy Spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said that the motive of certain groups was to close down the camp as the navy has been arresting persons in the area for conducting illegal fishing by using explosives and persons who were engaged in drug dealing.
“We requested for reinforcement last morning and the police teams which came for our assistance also came under attack. Several police jeeps were damaged as a result of it.
Individuals engaged in various illegal activities are in the forefront of this,” he said.
According to police the tense situation had started on Sunday night after mosque when rumours had spread that a ‘Grease Devil’ was hiding inside the Navy camp. Thereafter the people had surrounded the navy camp.
The Kinniya Divisional Secretariat office was also surrounded by at least 500 people demanding the police to release the 24 suspects arrested by the police over the incident. Eastern Province Security Forces Commander Major General Boniface Perera and government officers were conducting a meeting on the situation inside the Kinniya Divisional Secretariat when the people surrounded it.
However later on 24 suspects who were arrested for attacking the police and damaging state property in Kinniya were released on police bail last evening.
Several teams from the police with the assistance of the army have been deployed in the area to maintain law and order. The Kinniya police are conducting further inquiries into the incident under the directions of Trincomalee DIG Ravi Waidyalankara.
Meanwhile more reinforcements have been placed in Pottuvil, Kattankudy and Thirukkovil following clashes between civilians and law enforcement agencies as a result of an elephant census, with people mistaking census officers hiding in jungles as ‘Grease Devils’, robbers and army deserters.
The Eastern Province has many Army, Navy and Special Task Force (STF) camps. With the end of the war several camps were removed. (Supun Dias)